The new Volkswagen Amarok has quickly become one of the brand’s top-selling vehicles in Australia, but we’re still no closer to confirming when we might see an electrified version.

    While commercial vehicle partner Ford has locked in a Ranger Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) for a 2025 sales launch in Australia, the related Amarok is still to have a plug-in hybrid or battery electric version confirmed for production, despite rumours circulating a year or so ago.

    “We don’t really have anything to say on that particular topic,” Nathan Johnson, head of marketing and product for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Australia told CarExpert this week.

    “We are exploring with the factory ‘what’s next?’, but we don’t have anything concrete to announce at this stage.”

    General manager for VW Group Australia communications, Paul Pottinger, added with the Albanese Government’s New Vehicle Emissions Standards (NVES) looming, the German brand isn’t in the same boat as some rival brands with high-emitting dual-cab utes.

    “While internally Commercial Vehicles and Passenger Vehicles might be separate entities, overall in the NVES our emissions figures are judged as a single brand,” Mr Pottinger told CarExpert.

    “So, Amarok could be more than ameliorated by other models in the broader portfolio. I think it’s going to be a much bigger struggle for brands with less diversity [in their product portfolios].”

    Volkswagen will enter 2025 with the ID.4 and ID.5 electric SUVs, as well as the ID. Buzz range of electric people movers and commercial vans. The brand has been candid about strong volume aspirations particularly for the ID.4, which no doubt will play a part in greatly reducing its fleet CO2 average when NVES comes into effect.

    Rival dual-cab ute makers like Toyota, Ford, Isuzu and Mitsubishi with a high ratio of diesel sales relative to the wider portfolio and a low mix of zero- and low-emissions products perhaps aren’t as well placed for the new regulations.

    It’s not the first time the idea of an electrified Amarok has been thrown around. Autocar reported in January 2023 that VW had plans for an electric off-roader based on the Ford Ranger and Amarok’s T6 platform.

    Ford’s T6 architecture – which also underpins the Everest and Bronco – has been confirmed to support both plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and electric (EV) powertrains, meaning there’s scope for even further electrification than the Ranger Plug-in Hybrid in the next 12 months.

    One reason we’re still waiting could be because Volkswagen has reportedly been told such a model would also require at least a 110kWh battery to deliver the towing capability and range expected of an electric off-roader.

    Volkswagen has previously confirmed it’s working with Ford on electrifying the T6 platform, with an electric Amarok understood to be in development for launch sometime around 2026. It’s also weighing a plug-in hybrid, which makes sense when Ford basically has the drivetrain ready for production.

    Further to the electrification discussion, Mr Johnson told CarExpert it was only a matter of time before Australian-delivered versions of the Amarok moved to cleaner and more efficient Euro 6-certified drivetrains.

    “The Euro 6 engine will become available to us at a stage. It’s already being used in some European markets because of their strict emissions standard,” Mr Johnson said.

    When asked if Euro 6 diesel engines with AdBlue posed challenges with customers and dealers around education and maintenance, Mr Johnson said: “I don’t think it’s going to be challenge for us because I think everyone else is moving that way as well”.

    “I don’t think there’s a lot of education that needs to be done from our previous model” – noting the previous-generation Amarok’s temporary run of EU6 V6 models sourced from Europe.

    Euro 6 diesels with AdBlue injection are still fairly rare in the Australian market, with select versions of the Ford Ranger as well as the Mitsubishi Triton offering the cleaner engines with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR).

    As of April 30 2024 the Amarok is Volkswagen’s top-selling vehicle in Australia, with 3003 units registered year to date (YTD) – marking significant 270.7 per cent growth on the same January-April period in 2023.

    That sees the 4×4-only Amarok lead the smaller VW T-Roc (2481 units) and Tiguan Allspace (1640 units) in the running sales standings within the VW brand portfolio.

    Despite its increasing popularity amongst Australian buyers, the Amarok still trails well behind its Ford Ranger platform mate, which with 4×4 sales alone outsells the VW by more than six to one (19,329 v 3003).

    Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles says the in-demand Aventura and PanAmericana variants remain supply constrained, which account for 14 per cent and 9.0. percent of the total sales mix respectively. The Style remains the most popular trim level with 54 per cent share.

    Are you hanging out for an Amarok PHEV or EV? Tell us in the comments!

    MORE: Everything Volkswagen Amarok

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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